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To have the greatest impact, Hormel Foods focuses our philanthropic efforts on three areas: hunger, education and supporting the local communities where we operate. These areas most closely align with our business initiatives, and we have found that they are also the areas our employees support with passion.


Throughout our more than 120-year history, we have shared our food products to support the fight against hunger. We produce high quality, differentiated products for our consumers, and we use our expertise in food manufacturing, distribution and protein as a resource to help hunger relief efforts in the United States and abroad.

Our formal hunger relief strategy – On Our Way to Ending Hunger – involves three pillars: Nourish, Collaborate and Motivate.


Nourish speaks to ending hunger one community at a time. We join in this effort by nourishing communities with donations throughout the United States and around the world.

One of the ways we nourish communities internationally is through a product we developed called SPAMMY®, a shelf-stable poultry product fortified with vitamins and minerals, to help prevent malnutrition in children in Guatemala.

Read more about how we Nourish communities in our 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report.


Collaborate is about all parties working together. We know that ending hunger is a task that requires partnership, so we work with retailers and other organizations to research partners and solutions, raise awareness and support hunger relief programs.

For example, we participate in Hunger-Free Minnesota, a statewide coalition of community and corporate organizations aimed at closing the “missing meals” gap in Minnesota. Its goal is to provide 100 million additional meals, annually and sustainably, for Minnesotans in need by 2014.

Read more about how we Collaborate in our 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report.


Motivate is how we understand the hunger problem and mobilize our employees and communities to do something about it. We motivate through our Plant Community Donations Program, which began in 2011 and provides grants to our plant locations in various U.S. communities to support hunger-relief organizations in their local communities. We have also funded and conducted research to understand and raise awareness of the hunger problem.

Read more about how we Motivate in our 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report.

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Community Involvement

Across the United States, our employees are involved in their communities and committed to making a difference in the places where they live and work. As a company, we want to support their efforts. Read more about the variety of ways Hormel Foods and our employees are contributing to communities.

  • The Women Our Way employee resource group held its second 5K race October 2013 to raise funds for the Women’s Leadership Initiative. A fun run/walk was again held following the race, incorporating games, music and photo opportunities with the SKIPPY® mascot, Sir Can-A-Lot character and SPAMMY® character. More than 150 people participated, raising more than $2,000. “The event was a huge success,” said Nicole Shute, marketing manager, specialty products. “The Women’s Leadership Initiative was able to pack more than 570 backpacks for children in the community with the proceeds.”
  • The Crisis Assistance Relief Effort (CARE) program was created September 2012, and since that time more than 40 families have been helped in emergency and disaster situations. The CARE program provides emergency assistance for employees of Hormel Foods, its subsidiaries and business divisions, and is completely funded through employee contributions to support families within the Hormel Foods community. Several employee groups have held fundraisers to contribute to the CARE program.
  • In March 2013, Hormel Foods donated $50,000 to the Fisher House Foundation and provided Easter meals to 38 houses nationwide as part of its Hormel® Cure 81® ham brand 50th anniversary celebration.
  • Jennie-O Turkey Store awarded a $60,000 grant to the United Way of West Central Minnesota in order to replace the Growmobile, a vehicle used to bring pre-school services to children in the area.

The Hormel Institute

Neighboring the Hormel Foods Corporate Office in Austin, Minn., is The Hormel Institute, a world leader in cancer research. Throughout the years, we have financially supported the efforts of leading scientists to focus on The Hormel Institute’s singular mission: to provide research that can prevent and control cancer through natural and nontoxic means.

In 2013, The Hormel Foundation announced a commitment of $13.5 million, matching funding provided by the State of Minnesota, for the $27 million expansion of The Hormel Institute. An additional $9.5 million was awarded by the foundation to be used for recruitment of top scientists, equipping the labs with state-of-the-art equipment and creating a work environment for cancer research. The expansion is set to break ground in 2014.

Recently, The Hormel Institute received nearly $1.8 million in federal grants to support skin and colon cancer research led by Dr. Zigang Dong, leader of the Cellular & Molecular Biology section at The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota.

Researchers at The Hormel Institute led a group of scientists in discovering a “missing link” in the major cell pathway involved in chronic inflammation and findings were published in a leading scientific journal, Nature. Additionally, researchers at The Hormel Institute have gained national recognition for numerous projects, including:

  • Work related to cancer and obesity;
  • Bringing more clarity on how a compound found in green tea inhibits cancerous activity (a discovery described by fellow cancer researchers as a major breakthrough);
  • The study of lupeol (a natural compound found in fruits and vegetables) as a potential new therapeutic agent to treat prostate cancer; and
  • A compound from mangos shown to inhibit rapid cell growth and support cell death against human leukemia as well as lung, breast, colon and prostate cancer cells.

For more information, visit The Hormel Institute website.

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Hormel Foods Charitable Trust

Each calendar year, the Hormel Foods Charitable Trust Matching Gifts Program matches individual employee and retiree donations to approved colleges and universities and to elementary and high schools. Since its inception, the program has matched millions of dollars in gifts to educational institutions.

Read more about our education efforts in our 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report.

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